Outside brooder setup... feedback?

Rocking Bars

In the Brooder
Jul 8, 2021
11
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Hello, this is my first post, but I have read this forum often in my 15 years of raising barred rocks. I just hatched 6 chicks (with my trusty old hovabator- it is pretty beat up but always does a great job, 99-100% hatch rate- or could be I have lucked out with breeding lines, who knows)

Anyway, my peeps are in the garage brooder (cardboard box) with an ecoglow and doing fine. Normally, I keep them in a week, move them to a brooder I have set up in a barn stall until 4 - 6 weeks and then move them to the outside to their own little coop and run next to the big chickens until they are ready to integrate. My chickens are free range on 1/2 acre for the most part except I put 6’ of bird netting along the fence line too keep them from flying over to where my pyrenees dogs are who thinks chicken is tasty 😳.

Well, this year, I have goats about to kid so I can‘t use the brooding stall, so I thought in about 2 weeks I would move them straight to their mini-coop. I will set it up just like the box they are in now with the heat plate, etc. Daytime temps are 85-90 now and night time 65-70. I use a heat lamp when brooding in the winter but the ecoglow seems to be plenty for summer.

Does this sound doable? anything I am missing with my setup? During the day I will give them access to the run, which is very secure. I built the whole run on top of cattle panels covered with dirt that extend 2 feet outside the run perimeter.
 
That should work fine.
I move my chicks at 2 weeks out to the main coop into a sectioned off corner inside a temporary wire partition. With there heat source that they will be slowly weaned off of.
They can see and be seen by the older flock.
Cattle panels are sturdy and keep the larger preditors out but unless covered with hardware cloth will allow smaller preditors in like coon, possums and weasel .
Glad you joined us!
Welcome to the backyard!
 
My brooder is outside in my covered run. It's made of 1x1/2 inch wire. When they are young I cover the sides with plastic. Once they don't need the heat plate I take the sides off.

Makes it easier when it's time to turn loose since they have grown up with the other chickens basically in a see no touch from the start.
 
That should work fine.
I move my chicks at 2 weeks out to the main coop into a sectioned off corner inside a temporary wire partition. With there heat source that they will be slowly weaned off of.
They can see and be seen by the older flock.
Cattle panels are sturdy and keep the larger preditors out but unless covered with hardware cloth will allow smaller preditors in like coon, possums and weasel .
Glad you joined us!
Welcome to the backyard!
Thank you for your reply! I have done something similar in the past putting my chicks in a part of my coop - but my coop now is not very big and has so many roosts, it’s difficult to move around in there, so I decided to build a small “baby coop” that is easier to get to. The hens still see the younger chicks all day as the chicks are out in the run and the hens are ranging all around them.

I should have been more clear regarding the cattle panels, that is just for the bottom which is on the ground. The rest of the run is built on top of it and it is that is framed out with hardware mesh sides and chicken wire top. Where the sides meet the floor, I used landscape timbers and both the sides and cattle panel are attached to it. We have coyotes, foxes, hawks and bobcats and I’ve learned (after a few heartbreaking losses) to reinforce everything. The Pyrs help too, but the patrol around the area not in it 🙂
 
My brooder is outside in my covered run. It's made of 1x1/2 inch wire. When they are young I cover the sides with plastic. Once they don't need the heat plate I take the sides off.

Makes it easier when it's time to turn loose since they have grown up with the other chickens basically in a see no touch from the start.
Thanks for the feedback! That is similar to what I‘m doing, I just haven’t tried it with younger chicks.
 

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